Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Automatic repair loop; Recovery options not working

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8

    Automatic repair loop; Recovery options not working


    Hi all,

    Recently was running a backup program and suddenly I get the Windows 8 blue error screen (the one with the mocking '' icon) and system dies. I turn on and it seems to booting very slowly then it proceeds to do the pre login screen installation of updates. After half an hour or so and with updates on around 70%, system dies again. Now when I turn the machine on it appears to alternate between either hanging for ever on the Win8 loading screen or attempting to run an 'Automatic Repair' which invariably results in a blank screen and no fix.

    Having read several 'Automatic Repair loop' posts on the net, it appears I need to load the recovery disc and run repair or restore programs from there. Of course the CD I made failed (crappy disc?) so I had to search my original licence email and use the provided link to download and create a new installation disc from a working machine. This disc loads and gives me the option to install Win 8 (presumably a fresh install with loss of files) or a troubleshoot menu. Running the automatic repair option results in a rather inane 'Couldn't do it' message and gives a blank path to a log file. The system restore option prompts me to 'Restart and select operating system before trying this' and i'm not sure how to do this as no such option is given at boot.

    If it helps, this blog post details what appears to be almost identical symtoms to the ones my system is experiencing http://www.selarom.net/blog/2012/09/01/windows-8-woes Looks like he/she had no luck solving this though .......

    Any help greatly appreciated,

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    My system gets this all the time, and you are not going to like what I tell you to try:

    First, the Repair may not be finalizing, because it cannot fix the problem, which is usually Read Element Failure on your system drive. To Check for that and repair, it, download Hiren's Boot CD from the link below my Sig Pic. Boot to that and go into DOS programs and find GWSCAN. Run it, and check your drive using the SMART and Quick Test tools. If it finds a problem, then exit that app, and find VIVARD in the Hard Disk tools, you have to exit back out to the main Hiren's Menu to get back to it, it's in Hard Drive Tools under Dos.

    If you have an SSD drive, don't use any of those tools, you will have to download disk checking and repair tools from the SSD Manufacturer. But for most Winchester Arm hard Drives, ViVard will re-map the whole drive.

    When that is done, boot to Mini XP on Hiren's - And ruin a FULL CHKDSK on the system drive, don't worry about non system drives. You can also use a Windows 8 Install DVD, booting to that and from Command Prompt use CHKDSK. However you do it, do a full CHKDSK. You should also so an Automatic Repair from the Install disk as well- Also, you will want to run the Windows 7/8 equivalent of FixMBR and Fixboot, which are in one command now, called Bootrec.exe - Bootrec /FixMBR can repair any MBR problems.

    Finally when that is done, just boot from the hard drive, and see if your Automatic Repair starts and finalizes - If it wants to do another full scan on your drive, let it, but let it finish, and it will SAY "Finalizing" when it gets to the last part.

    I have found in my case, Auto Repair Boot Loops can be fixed, this is just the process I use, but basically, you need to check your entire Hard Drive surface for errors, and Windows 8 can't do this, so it gets stuck in that loop.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    Thanks for the detailed the response.

    I ran the Vivard program and it found the drive to have many, many bad sectors (c.250 bad sectors) at only a couple of percent through scanning and was running very slowly. Now.... you know how important it is to make sure the laptop is plugged into a powersupply when running things like this? Yeah..... I'm an idiot. Battery died, system died at this 2% mark and now Hiren's Boot cd isn't seeing the HD at all and even the BIOS isn't detecting the HD either. Am I to deduce the drive is kaput? Does this suggest the HD was at death's door in spite of my stupid mistake? Tell me it straight doc!

    Now I sit here staring at the Toshiba splash screen staring back at me with a "Not angry, but disappointed" expression.

    At least there is a dancing elephant to amuse me in the mean time....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    india
    Posts : 101
    Windows 8 pro with WMC x86 & windows Blue preview x86 with Windows 7 Ultimate SP1


    the automatic repair, shall be repeated 3-4 times separately(restart between) so that it repairs thoroughly. Do it. even if it says couldn't help... n' also ur HD shall be fixed, if not windows 8 DVD, try windows 7 DVD. hope it helps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Yah, shit I should have specified, if you are on a laptop you CANNOT interrupt the repair process, and Vivard will take up to 4 or 5 hours to totally finish. But it is the best way to repair bad sectors, there is practically no data loss.

    This actually happened to me, and I forget how I repaired the drive. Try the lesser programs like GWscan and WDDiag- Or if it is a seagate or toshiba drive, use the full disk scanners that are on Hiren's, if you can rebuild the MBR then you can run Vivard for the full time it needs to run.

    But I was right. You had Read Element Failure.

    My Media System has a 500 GB WD drive as boot drive, and it had developed read element failure. Fortunately I was able to use GWscan to run a full scan and itr repaired the drive - I had to run it twice, and now it has not developed any new failures. But the evidence of this is when the system gets stuck in a repair loop - It's because Windows 8 is trying to run CHKDSK, and it is not enough.

    Use Vivard when GWscan or WDdiag detects too many read errors, but my gut told me you should just run it outright, and I was right. It would have fixed the drive completely had it run full. So I apologize for that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    Hey again,

    Can't seem to run any of Hiren's programs as the drive just doesn't seem to be recognised. It's a Toshiba drive and running the Toshiba DOS programs invariably results in this bloody great "FAIL" message (It literally says 'FAIL" in massive obnoxious capitals. Why do computers keep mocking me recently!!??). Even in the BIOS setup the hard dive label says 'None'.

    I've ordered a new higher capacity drive as it was needed anyway tbh, but just to confirm, is this now (or perhaps it always was) a hardware defect and is there anything I can do to salvage data or revive the drive?

    Thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    The drive may have been damaged when it was powered off ungracefully during the Vivard process. If the drive is under warranty, send it back! If it was part of the system, contact the Manufacturer. Don't mention anything about running Vivard, just tell them it went bad. From what you are saying, it was on the way out anyway, due to the amount of bad sectors the program found. If the system had not run out of power these would have been repaired. It's an invasive process, I should have made it clear that it takes several hours to run. I ran it on an old Sony laptop with a Toshiba drive, it took about 4 hours total.

    I'm very sorry this happened, I didn't check to see if you had a Laptop, because usually this is done on PCs I get that have the same original problem you had, and there never is an issue with keeping those plugged in. That Sony laptop was the only laptop I had ever run that program on.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Sometimes you can get a damaged drive to show up, stick it in an airtight plastic bag and freeze it for a day, see if it detects after that, make sure you dry off any condensation. If it does, then run the Vivard again and this time let it finalize.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    Not your fault, it was mine! On a side note can you recommend a stable backup solution for USB Hd. Does the windows 8 File History program work well?

    Thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    I had it running for a while, but I didn't understand exactly what it was doing, so I shut it off. You may just try a Windows Easy Transfer backup. It can only be restored to the exact same OS as the one it was taken from. Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 may work though. I tried restoring from Windows 7 to 8 and it no workee. There are also backup programs by WD and Asus and maybe even Seagate.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Automatic repair loop; Recovery options not working
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